87 Fifth Ave back to life

Ark

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Trying to make up for about a decade of neglect since the 360 swap. About halfway done with the Fitech conversion. Waiting on the ForceFuel unit to get returned after I broke the ground stud. Wiring is a mess because everything is pulled out for access. New Tuff Stuff one wire Alternator at the bottom left. Lokar cables all in place, pretty happy with them. Up by the washer reservoir you can see the relay box that Fitech is now shipping. Great idea, moving to relayed power. Unfortunately the harness coming off the throttle body is now completely bundled, no modification without a ton of effort. But, running across the heater hoses, at least it's away from the plug wires and distributor.

360 originally done somewhere around 2012. Stock lower end, .30 over, Comp 268H .454 flat tappet cam, 974 heads. Intake manifold is actually port matched to the heads.

Crappy faux chrome valve covers rust visibly in a couple of years. Shocker. Summit headers have similar surface rust but haven't thinned out or worn through yet.

On the list:

-Install the ForceFuel up where the charcoal canister used it be, plumb it and wire it.
-Fresh plugs, spiral core wires, and cap/rotor ahead of trying to start the Fitech.
-Headlight relay and H4 housing conversion. Fun fact, there's a big 'ol pink wire on the driver's side B+ splice that used to go to the Lean Burn computer but will make a perfect tap point to avoid yet ANOTHER new ring on the battery terminal!
-Cleaning up some custom gauge wiring under the dash.
-More deletion of unneeded wires under the hood.
-Secure the alternator wire to the crossbrace with nicer zip ties. This may get relocated to run across the header panel if it causes RFI issues. I'm already fabbing up a new harness for the headlights.
-K-car brake booster is next after I get it all running. Maybe new master cylinder. This booster has just never liked the lower vacuum of this engine, and is over 20 years old itself. Worried about what might happen to the brake lines when I start yanking on that stuff.

The Fitech is the big unknown right now. I may get lucky and it works with the Mopar ignition system just fine. If not, I'm looking at a couple of branching options. Number one is convert to Fitech timing control by buying an MSD distributor with the lockout and phaseable rotor, which is necessary to use with EFI since you mechanically advance the rotor and then the computer retards the spark to compensate. Fitech computer will also fire the coil for you, eliminating an ignition box. Number two is buy a distributor from BluePrint Engines that takes a phaseable rotor and can basically do the same thing. Number three is buy a new Mopar type distributor and convert to a CDI system with a tach output. Number four is spend another $1-200 and buy a complete Progression Ignition unit and let it digitally control the entire timing system and spit an RPM signal out to the Fitech. Can't really make any decisions until I start it up for the first time and find out how well it works.

As usual, every job on the car is 11x more difficult than it needs to be, nothing comes apart without being sawed or drilled, and I never have the tools or parts I need. Feels just like being 18 again.
 

Duke5A

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Great to see it getting resurrected Ark!

You could always leave the mechanical advance distributor in place just to get it running first. One less thing to troubleshoot.

The headlights could be done with H4 LED conversion bulbs if you wanted to go that route. I did it to mine using a cheap pair of 4x6 H4 housings and H4 LEDs from Super Bright. Would negate having to rewire since the current draw is so little compared to the halogens.
 

Ark

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Great to see it getting resurrected Ark!

You could always leave the mechanical advance distributor in place just to get it running first. One less thing to troubleshoot.

The headlights could be done with H4 LED conversion bulbs if you wanted to go that route. I did it to mine using a cheap pair of 4x6 H4 housings and H4 LEDs from Super Bright. Would negate having to rewire since the current draw is so little compared to the halogens.
Current plan is to see if it'll run with the existing mechanical distributor. Refresh the plugs/wires/cap/rotor in case any of it has deteriorated with age and started leaking RF.

I didn't know your LEDs were still powered straight from the existing wiring through the headlight switch. You didn't convert to relays?
 

Duke5A

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It's just one of those things I never got around to before. LED draws far less than the stock headlights. Entire point of the relay mod was to feed the power hungry halogens. After I swapped the bulbs I figured it was moot.

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Ark

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Installed new plug wires. Of course, the "small block Mopar" wires have a coil wire that is too short for the FMJ coil mounting location.

And you know what? The coil wire I just took off didn't match any of the other spark plug wires. Which means I learned this lesson in the past, the hard way, and forgot about it.
 

Mikes5thAve

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I need to start work on mine sometime but while I'd love to do more changes I can't justify the costs for how little I drive it.

The earlier FMs had the short coil location. I left mine there on 360 because it's so much easier to get to then the fender mounted one. Funny how a lot of the cheap wire kits include both wires or give you a long to cut short. Guess they don't think people buy yje better sets for newer cars :(
 

LSM360

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You'll never get Matt "guitar" Murphy, or Mr. Fabulous. He's pulling down 6g's a week. LOL
Matt's wife is a party pooper. You know she told him "Don't you "Don't get riled, sugar" me! You ain't goin' back on the road no more, and you ain't playin' them ol' two-bit sleazy dives. You're livin' with me now, and you not gonna go slidin' around witcho ol' white hoodlum friends.
 

Ark

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Replacement fuel pump is installed, plumbing hooked up, looks like it's supplying fuel to the Fitech during cranking. So that's good. Had to cut a custom wire for the coil, and the plug engagement at the coil is kinda dodgy, so that's less good.

Bad news is the computer is registering no RPM signal at all from the negative side of the coil during cranking. Tach still reads 0 RPM, too, after I've doubled checked all the power and signal wiring. This is a very interesting data point, that both of them aren't working. The tach stopped registering when I changed the coil many years ago and I never figured out how to fix it. Car ran, just no tach.

Wonder if the polarity of the coil is reversed. I rechecked all the ignition box wiring during this project and it all appeared correct.
 

Ark

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Still headscratching over this no RPM signal situation. Fitech tech support guy seems to think it might just be a bad coil since it won't send signal to the tach, either. Coil did fire and run with the carb before the install, but I suppose it's possible.

Thinking about just committing to a new CDI box and e-coil from Fitech or Summit and just ditching the whole orange box and ballast resistor shebang. HEI conversion was also a possibility but it only saves like $100. Then I'd have a nice square wave tach output to use. Maybe see about mounting it inside the firewall, under the passenger dash or something. But first I'd just hook everything up loose under the hood with jumper wires and test it.

It's been too hot and wet here to be out screwing around with cars.
 

Lightning II

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I’ve still got the HEI stuff attached to my 318 if you want them. Has the bracket that bolts the HEI module to the distributor too.
 

MoparDan

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Matt's wife is a party pooper. You know she told him "Don't you "Don't get riled, sugar" me! You ain't goin' back on the road no more, and you ain't playin' them ol' two-bit sleazy dives. You're livin' with me now, and you not gonna go slidin' around witcho ol' white hoodlum friends.
"The Blues Brothers? Shiiit, they still owe you money fool!"
 
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